1. Assume Your Boss Is Unaware of Their Flaw(s)
Begin with the mindset that your boss may not know that they’re being difficult. You may have gathered evidence of your manager’s negative behavior, but there’s a huge possibility that you’re both looking at it from different points of view.
- Study Sources of Conflict Between You
Don’t just come up to them and enumerate what they’re doing wrong. If you do it that way, it’ll look like you’re criticizing them. Worse, giving negative feedback at a time when your boss is busy putting out a fire will make tensions worse. Pick the right place and time, preferably when your boss isn’t busy
3.Work Around Their Weakness
Some of your manager’s bad habits or behaviors may be easily fixed with a slight adjustment on your part.
4. Identify Triggers of Difficult Behavior
Your manager’s bad behavior doesn’t just come out of nowhere. It must have a trigger; you just don’t know it yet. Next time your manager gets riled up, think about what happened just a few minutes or seconds before. See if a pattern or common trigger emerges after a few days of observation
5. Get Help from Co-Workers Who Feel the Same
A sure sign that your boss is difficult to work with is that your co-workers also share your sentiment about their management and people skills. If that’s the case, you can talk to your co-workers about it.
In all likelihood, you are frustrated with your difficult boss because he or she consistently displays bad behavior. It is the pattern of bad behavior that drives you crazy (or in some cases, the boss’s inconsistent behavior, as in you-never-know-what-you’re-going-to-get). The best way to deal with a difficult boss is to have a plan of action in place.
7.Be Prepared. You likely know the difficult boss’s pattern of bad behavior, so anticipate and prepare your responses beforehand. Write them on index cards, and practice delivering them
8.Be Persistent. It isn’t likely that your difficult boss situation will change overnight, so be prepared for the long haul. Moreover, be persistent in calling out your boss’s bad behavior, and putting your plan into action. Your coworkers might follow your lead and start to stand up to the difficult boss as well (although you should be prepared for the boss to try to turn them against you, or for your coworkers’ possible lack of support). The key is to not let your boss get away with continuing his/her bad behavior.
The best way to Solve the Issue
Set Up Time to Meet & Discuss Problems & Solutions
When you finally have a good opportunity to talk, start by saying you’ve identified several “opportunities for improvement” in the way you two work together. Try not to use the words “conflict” or “mismanagement.” Then briefly describe the points of conflict you’ve analyzed earlier.
Don’t expect that your boss will agree to every conflict you brought up. They might get defensive, so listen and try to see things from their point of view. If things heat up, gently shift the conversation towards finding a solution you can both work on to avoid the same problem in the future.
If asking your boss directly for a meeting makes you anxious, email them to request the meetup instead. This tutorial can help you write that email:
How to Avoid Bad Bosses in the Future
How do you know whether it makes sense to continue with a difficult boss or it is time to leave? If every waking moment is occupied with your concerns about your relationship with your boss —then you are probably in the wrong job. If you’ve tried everything to get along with your boss and you just can’t work things out, it may be time to move on. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Next time you’re interviewing at a new company, ask potential teammates and HR what your future boss is like. While you can’t explicitly ask about the person’s negative behaviors, you can ask about their communication and management style to see how compatible you’d be. Part of learning how to get along with a difficult boss is learning to avoid them in the first place
If you are not quitting, commit fully to your role, team and boss. A passive wait and watch policy won’t work. Once you are committed to making things work, new ideas will open up and you will do what it takes to succeed.
Your commitment to a successful professional relationship with your boss will find support amongst colleagues.
You can review your progress every 3 months and decide afresh if things are going well enough to remain committed.